MORGANTOWN - While there were a number of potential candidates hoping to be considered as an interim replacement for outgoing West Virginia University President Jim Clements, that pool was reduced considerably at Thursday's special board of governors meeting.
Board of Governors Chairman Jim Dailey said he couldn't release the number of candidates now being considered, but said the original pool had been reduced by at least 90 percent.
Dailey, who said all but one of the 17 board members attended the meeting that was held at the university's Morgantown campus, stressed the quality of individuals interested in being named to this temporary position.
"I think we got a lot accomplished because we discussed a large group of really qualified candidates for the interim position," Dailey said.
He said board members will meet again at the university Dec. 3, when they hope to name the interim president. In the meanwhile, candidates are being "vetted and their qualifications considered," he said.
Clements spent nearly five years in Morgantown before publicly announcing his resignation Nov. 11. He is leaving to become president at Clemson University and is expected to be in his new office in January.
In addition to naming an interim president, board members must also go through a formalized process to create a search committee, according to Dailey, who said the process is designed to take time because it is "thorough and inclusive" in its work.
Both the interim president and a new president must also be approved by the state Higher Education Policy Commission, he said.
An interim president, C. Peter McGrath, served for about five months before the job was officially offered to Clements, Dailey said, adding that his successor will have big shoes to fill.
"Jim did so much for the university and had so much going forward, we want to make sure our selection is someone who will also carry on with those efforts," Dailey said.